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[Yorkville] Sassafraz (Summerlicious)

 As part of Summerlicious 2012, Charles and I revisited Sassafraz for dinner. We’ve been to Sassafraz a few years ago for Winterlicious and we were both really impressed with the food and service. We were both hoping for another great meal but found both of us leaving a little unsatisfied.

It is hard to miss Sassafraz in Yorkville. The yellow building with black roof stands out even compare to other unique store fronts on Cumberland Street.

Photo credit: Google

I usually choose our licious restaurants based on menu, not solely based on restaurant reputation and rating. I really liked the menu for Sassafraz this year and we were lucky to get a table one week into Summerlicious week.


Vichyssoise with lobster and truffle essence
Spinach and roasted beets with parsnip chips and violet mustard maple vinaigrette
Pan seared scallops with sautéed spinach, roasted almond slivers and sherry gastrique
Confit pork belly with stewed tomatoes, escarole and garlic chips

Seared swordfish with lemon caper orzo, green beans and blood orange emulsion
Roasted Cornish hen with doubled smoked bacon and red onion quinoa, braised leeks in natural reduction
Braised lamb shank with roasted garlic sweet potato mash, asparagus, sweet apple cider glaze
10 oz New York striploin with Ontario peas, foie gras smashed potato
Pappardelle with roasted tomato, artichoke, goat cheese and basil pesto

Chocolate brownie with brandied cherry, Chantilly cream and amaretto reduction
Banana cream tart, toasted coconut mousse and mango sherbet
Gotham City cheese, exclusive to Sassafraz, made by Afrim Pristine of Cheese Boutique, served with flatbread and assorted dried fruits

We started our dinner with some bread. Pretty ordinary, nothing fancy.

I chose the pan seared scallops and Charles went for the confit pork belly.

The scallops were absolutely amazing! The outsides were pan seared to a lovely crisp and brown crust and the insides were tender, sweet, creamy, tender, and delectable. These scallops were plump and meaty. I wish there were more than 2 pieces! This was the best part of our dinner.

Charles’ confit pork belly was pretty good as well. Seasoned with just right amount of salt to bring the natrual sweetness of pork, the pork belly was very tender and juicy. 

I had the braised lamb shank as my main and Charles ordered the 10 oz New York Striploin.

My labm was falling off the bone tender and the meat was most and juicy. It did not have the “gamey” taste of lamb. I would have loved this lamb more had there been a tad more seasoning. It was unfortunately bland and lacking flavour.

Charles’ striploin was cooked perfectly to a medium rare. However, we found the striploin to be slightly under seasoned as well. We do eat pretty light at home so I don’t think it was our palate failing to detect salt and spices in our food. It was really too bad that both of our mains were under seasoned and failed to enhance the natural taste of our food.

I had the banana cream tart, toasted coconut mousse and mango sherbet. I am not a huge fan of banana and coconut-based dessert and did not enjoy this part of the dinner. I liked the presentation of the banana cream tart in a unique triangle shape though. The mango sherbet was very refreshing and was full of the mango aroma.

Charles had the chocolate brownie with brandied cherry, Chantilly cream and amaretto reduction. I could not sample this brownie because it contained amaretto reduction, which is an almond-flavoured Italian liqueur. He said the brownie was a little bit dry.

Overall, our summerlicious dinner at Sassafraz was rather disappointing. The scallops were really amazing but everything else was somewhat inadequate. Both mains were lacking flavour and desserts were not memorable.

Sassafraz on Urbanspoon

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